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Editor's Note: Every Thursday, I'll be rounding up my favorite pieces from the past week so that PolicyMic Pundits can more easily read and comment on the great content being written about sex, sexuality, gender, and race in politics and culture, in addition to updates from our community and GIFs galore! You can subscribe to get updates delivered straight to your inbox. 

Highlights This Week:

It’s finally nice outside in New York!

PolicyMic’s week of coverage on sexual assault awareness and prevention was a huge success. To finish the week, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand shared her thoughts on ending the epidemic of sexual assault in the military. On Wednesday, U.S. State Department official Alison Friedman explained how the State Department is using an innovative method used in domestic violence cases to help millions of victims of horrific human trafficking get their lives back on track. Coupled with so many amazing articles from our Pundits, our discussion drew much-needed attention to the issue. Great work, everyone.

For May, PolicyMic will be hosting a similar week-long discussion on graduation season, tentatively scheduled to run 5/19 – 5/25. From the changing gender ratio of college to the raging debate over affirmative action to homophobia on campus, there’s a lot to discuss when it comes to race, gender, and sexuality in higher education. If you have ideas for what we should cover, or who we should invite to join the discussion, email or Tweet at me: @sameier12

PolicyMic’s inaugural Feminist Writing Skillshare has begun! With so many new voices joining the conversation, make sure to keep checking back for excellent articles on all things social justice! Liz and I will be experimenting with new ways to help writers achieve their full potential and build a strong community, and I look forward to applying what we learn in the Skillshare to PolicyMic as a whole.

Looking forward to a beautiful May with all of you beautiful folks.

Updates From Our Pundits:

Liz Plank continues to triumph on Twitter, with Tweets and RTs from high-profile figures like Retta (aka Marietta Sirleaf aka Donna from Parks & Rec) and Joe Rogan.

Yumi Araki’s piece on Boston Strong caught the attention of the Boston Globe, who interviewed her yesterday for a piece. 

Feministing highlights Lauren Rankin’s excellent article on transphobia and feminism, as well as a slew of articles from our special week of coverage, in their Feminist Cheat Sheet.

What did you do last week? I’ll share any outstanding writing achievements in our community, and highlight the great work that all of our Pundits do offline as well. If you have anything you’d like for me to include about yourself or a fellow PM writer, please send it along!

Must Reads From Last Week:

By Fighting Plan B Ruling, the Obama Administration Puts Politics Before Women’s Health (Kate Stewart) — Once again, politics trumps science and common sense as the Obama administration tries to keep in place unnecessary and burdensome restrictions to backup birth control.
[5 Mics, 2 Comments, 23 Shares]
A Rape in Rio Becomes An Excuse to Gut Services For the Poor (David Lavin) — After a high-profile rape, the city of Rio de Janeiro removes an important source of transportation.
[9 Mics, 2 Comments, 1 Shares] 

Thousands Across the U.S. Rightly Protest Sallie Mae For Skyrocketing Student Debt (Biola Jeje) — In May, thousands of students across America will graduate from college. Thousands will stand up to protest soaring U.S. student loan debt, which totals in at over $1 trillion.
[10 Mics, 28 Comments, 48 Shares]
4 Reasons to Hold Walmart Accountable on May Day (Hannah Brown) — May Day provides the perfect opportunity to review Walmart's notorious anti-worker business practices. Here are four reasons to hold Wal-Mart accountable.
[13 Mics, 7 Comments, 19 Shares]
As We Move Toward Marriage Equality, Remember the Youth Who Have Yet to Come Out (William Yang, @WilliamYang120) — The U.S. has made strides toward legalizing same-sex marriage, but the coming-out process is often a painful one for LGBT youth.
[6 Mics, 6 Comments, 15 Shares]
Eden Foods’ Liberal Customers Are Funding Its Anti-Woman Campaign (Cassandra Leveille) — Eden Foods' recent lawsuit to reject the birth control mandate under religious exemptions reveals how activism must become integral to the organic movement, transcending class status.
[8 Mics, 1 Comments, 25 Shares]
“This is Personal” is Unlike Any Other Pro-Reproductive Rights Campaign (Rachel Goldberg,@rachfoot)— What separates This Is Personal from other campaigns is that it lives almost entirely online and aims to address young women at their level.
[9 Mics, 2 Comments, 13 Shares]
Here’s What SCOTUS Justices Would Tweet About Jason Collins’ Coming Out (Sam Bakkila,@sbakkila) — NBA center Jason Collins' coming out was met with celebration and respect from the sports world on Twitter. Some Supreme Court justices would have been far less supportive.
[10 Mics, 1 Comments, 23 Shares]
Getting Married in California? Easier Done Than Said (Hanna Johnson, @lovehannahlynn) — While Prop 8 prevents same-sex couples from getting married for love, there's no rule against marrying people for health care.
[8 Mics, 5 Comments, 26 Shares]
Why Don’t 4 Out Of 5 Immigrant Detainees Ever See a Lawyer? (Jared Milrad, @jaredmilrad) — At least one issue has been largely absent from the immigration reform debate: the overburdened and often incompetent immigrant detention system.
[7 Mics, 3 Comments, 26 Shares]

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